The conductor of one of the choirs I sing in likes to incorporate tongue-twisters into our warmups, for agility of tongues and brains. She invites choristers to submit examples (I have previously written about cumquat compote). Yesterday a chorister explained the she had intended to tell her friend that she had a sore shoulder, but instead said either shore solder or sure solder. (I first thought shore, because of the sh in shoulder, but for most people sure is equally possible (a small number of people pronounce shore and sure differently).)

In real life, shore solder and sure solder are basically non-existent. Lake Shore is a manufacturer of industrial equipment; one of their products is Lake Shore solder. SURE is a brand name of another manufacturer; one of their products is a SURE solder absorbing machine, whatever that does. 

Elsewhere, there are sentences like “Inspect the joint to make sure solder has adhered to the pad and castellation” and “Sure, solder stations may go up to 900ºF…”. 


6 thoughts on “Sure

  1. Given that “solder” is pronounced as if it were spelled “sodder”, I surely doubt that she said either “shore solder” or “sure solder”.

    Maybe she said “Shure sold her”, which one might utter if one’s acquaintance was purchasing a phonograph cartridge directly from a manufacturer.


    / (ˈsɒldə, US ˈsɒdər) /

    Australian pronunciation usually follows British. It’s a word I’ve rarely heard, but it’s always been /ˈsɒldə/ when I have. An Australian chorister suggested it, an English-Australian conductor presented it and a mostly-Australian choir sang it without anyone saying ‘Hey, that’s not how it’s pronounced’.


  3. I have only ever encountered solder as rhyming with shoulder, and nothing I have read or heard about silent letters has ever suggested otherwise. I am flummoxed as you, in an equal and opposite direction.


  4. Thanks for the link … I took it from the quoted “ˈsɒldə, US ˈsɒdər” in your prior posting that the British pronunciation doesn’t rhyme with “shoulder”, but the discussion confirms your experience.


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